The Karnataka government has ruled out the possibility of another full lockdown in the state to deal with the rising COVID-19 cases. A night curfew is already in place until April 20 in seven district headquarters, including capital Bengaluru.
A total of 10,250 new coronavirus cases were recorded in Karnataka in the last 24 hours, out of which 7,584 are from Bengaluru alone.
State Deputy Chief Minister Dr Ashwath Narayan said: “So far the government has not thought in this direction (on lockdown). We are just seeing how best we can manage with the given situation. Along with life, livelihood needs to be taken care, so the question of this doesn’t arise. Our chief minister also has been very clear about this.”
“Let us not create any confusion among the people unnecessarily. Affecting their livelihood should not happen. We should not create this kind of fear. We are trying to address (this situation) effectively and ensure economy should go on, livelihood should go on,” he added.
While a night curfew has been imposed in various cities between 10 PM and 5 AM from April 10 to April 20 to control the spread of the virus, many restaurant and pub owners have asked the government to push back the timings from 10 PM to 11 PM as the curfew might impact their businesses.
The government has also ruled out putting a stop to scheduled examinations of school and college students in the state.
Offline classes have been discontinued for students of Class 6 to 9 and for most degree colleges. However, the government said that the scheduled exams will take place.
Dr Narayan said: “Almost all exams are completed in higher education degree. Only a few exams are left so we can’t leave it in between. To do online, credibility is a challenge. In the interest of students, we want to complete this academic year. Next academic year, online will continue. We don’t want to postpone and affect the careers of the students.”
Karnataka has conducted several state-wide exams since the pandemic began last year despite concerns over safety of students.
Other measures taken by the government include closure of gyms, swimming pools and party halls in residential complexes and limiting the attendance to 50 per cent at fitness centres and cinema halls in the city.
Karnataka Health Minister K Sudhakar on Sunday said that experts have warned of peak in infections by the first week of May. The minister also said experts have been asked to submit a report, based on which the government would take appropriate measures in the days to come.
Karnataka along with Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala cumulatively account for 70.82 per cent of India’s active COVID-19 cases.
India’s daily cases also continue to rise as 1,68,912 fresh coronavirus infections were registered in a span of 24 hours, the highest single-day rise since the outbreak of the pandemic.